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Only Human (The Themis Files) Hardcover – May 1, 2018
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“Packing a surprisingly powerful thematic punch, this novel is an addictive blend of science fiction, apocalyptic thriller, and chillingly timely cautionary tale. Two (giant, robotic) thumbs up!”—Kirkus Reviews
“Boasting a winning combination of briskly paced action and futuristic dystopia tempered by cautious optimism, Only Human brings a fitting, satisfying end to the Themis Files series.”—RT Book Reviews
“This action-packed tale with apocalyptic stakes is a fitting finale to this wonderfully cinematic series.”—Publishers Weekly
“Series fans will be eager for [Sylvian] Neuvel’s ever-so-satisfying conclusion to his rip-roaring science-fiction adventure tale.”—Booklist
“It is one of those stories that stirs something up inside, makes you question the world around you, and lingers long after it is over. . . . I cannot recommend this series highly enough.”—Read and Wander
“The perfect ending to an amazing trilogy”—Three Piece Heart
“An epic and thought-provoking ride from beginning to end.”—Teri Polen
“What a perfect end Only Human was to an incredible trilogy. It was emotional, deep, and satisfying. . . . This will be a story that lingers, and one that really made me think about my place in the world, and what it means to be human.”—I Blame Wizards
Praise for Sylvain Neuvel’s Waking Gods
“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism featuring giant killer robots and the looming end of mankind. In a word: unputdownable.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Kick-ass, one-on-one robot action combines with mind-bending scientific and philosophical speculation.”—Booklist
“Stellar science fiction.”—SFFWorld
“Sheer escapist fun.”—Shelf Awareness
“Reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z, Sleeping Giants is a luminous conspiracy yarn that shoots for (and lands among) the stars.”—Pierce Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Rising trilogy
“Sleeping Giants bursts at the seams with big ideas. This book is a sheer blast from start to finish. I haven’t had this much fun reading in ages.”—Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy
“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”—NPR
“A remarkable debut.”—Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Sylvain Neuvel is the author of Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, and Only Human. He is a linguist and translator based in Montreal. He is at work on an R2-D2 replica and his next novel.
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When Dr. Rose Franklin discovered a giant metal hand buried underground nearly 20 years ago, it led her to the discovery and assembly of Themis, a robot sent by an alien race. After some serious miscommunication with the aliens, about 100 million people across the globe died from a biological weapon released into the atmosphere. Soon after Rose found herself inside Themis with linguist Vincent Couture, his daughter, Eva Reyes, and General Eugene Govender, head of the Earth Defense Corps, traveling through space against their will.
The aliens wanted to bring Themis home.
Now, after nine years, Rose has returned to Earth. She and the others spent that entire time on Esat Ekt, a planet in other galaxy and possibly another time, trying to convince the Ekt people to let them leave. Rose is torn at first about this decision. In some ways, the Ekt represent the ideal; what humans should aspire to. As Rose and Vincent learn, however, the Ekt aren’t perfect. They have their own problems with politics and opposing parties.
Rose and the others come back to the planet of their birth, but it’s no longer a place they recognize. The United States government has appropriated one of the robots the Ekt left behind and is using it as a way to force other countries to submit. Internment camps abound across the world where people who don’t quite fit in now have to live. Another world war seems imminent, and Eva just really wants to go back to Ekt. When she arrived there, she was 10 years old. She considers Ekt home.
What’s worse, the Russians hold Vincent in a benign hostage situation. As long as he cooperates with them, they won’t hurt him. Eva unleashes her fury at coming back to Earth by disappearing. Now Rose will have to find a way to resolve the original problem posed by the alien invaders while trying to help Vincent find Eva and make sure father and daughter don’t end up killing each other—literally.
In what has become his trademark style, Sylvain Neuvel rounds out the Themis trilogy with wit and stark truths about our times. The charm of the Themis books certainly hasn’t worn off; Only Human, like its two predecessors, is told through a series of interviews and journal entries. The writing style is at once disarming and informative, and with this book Neuvel really slides into the right groove for the world of Themis and alien robots.
Some authors might feel tempted to rush the ending, but Neuvel takes his time. After the death of a key character in the previous book, Neuvel manages to find another character with just as much pluck and dry wit. He doesn’t tie up all the loose ends, but he does provide a satisfactory ending to the book and the series. He also lets Rose and the others present some basic life truths, a message that many readers will appreciate in today’s world.
Scientists have often speculated about alien races and what they might think of Earth and its inhabitants. Neuvel’s works fall squarely in the arena of science fiction, and they do full justice to the genre while staying away from its tropes all at the same time. Yet there’s also a universality about the Themis books that emphasizes what the best writing can be: intensely personal to the author while universal in its applicability to readers.
I recommend readers Binge Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel.
The most intriguing aspect of this trilogy is the unusual format- a nice change from your standard sci-fi drivel. Haha. I would like to air some plot misgivings, but that would be a major spoiler- and they are minor issues. Have to write the author, I suppose.
There is a wonderful sense of humor present that was very enjoyable. I just wish the final installment had the intensity of the first two. While I can see that the author was heading for a genetic snobbery plot all along, it turned me off a bit in the end-I wanted to be spellbound as in vol. 1&2. I wasn’t. The banter was still great, though.
I recommend The Themis Files with only minor reservations.
Most recent customer reviews
Themis Files have ended. No more giant robots. Shame. On the other hand, I appreciate the way Neuvel has wrapped up the trilogy.Read more